Milwaukee is the quintessential Upper Midwestern city, embodying the hard work, growing enterprises and hands-on labor that have made the area great. Smokestacks line the horizon as you drive through the city, displaying some of the many industries in the area. In particular, Milwaukee is known for its many breweries. However, you can also take in history, fun and culture at such places as the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Harley-Davidson Museum and the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory.
Of course, this city is about more than just sightseeing and history. Many industries have strongholds in the city, and health care jobs are especially numerous throughout the five integrated health systems, regional medical centers, and long-term care facilities. With 10 percent of residents being 65 or older, CNAs have particularly good job opportunities here as they will be increasingly needed to provide hands-on care for the elderly population.
A certified nurse aide in Milwaukee will need to complete state-authorized training and pass an examination, be a graduate nurse who has passed the examination or be a CNA transferring from another state to get on Wisconsin’s nurse aide registry. The majority of CNAs here choose to complete training, which must last a minimum of 120 hours total with 32 hours at minimum dedicated to hands-on clinical training.
To get into a training program, you will need to be at least 16 years old and must be able to read, write and speak in English. You should be generally healthy, have up-to-date immunizations and have passed a TB screening. Finally, you will need to complete and pass the Wisconsin Caregiver and Department of Justice Criminal Background Check.
Your classroom training will cover communications skills, personal care, general nursing skills, patient rights and specialty areas, such as dementia. Your clinical hours will be completed at local health care facilities.
Once you have completed training, you will need to pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program examination, which includes 70 multiple-choice questions along with a skills evaluation that will test you on five CNA skills. The cost of the examination is $115.
You can work as a CNA for 120 days before passing the examination if you are enrolled in a CNA training program. After that period, you must be in good standing on the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Registry to hold a job in this field. You will quickly find many job opportunities in Milwaukee at the many hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, and hospice care facilities currently serving the city. There are currently over 32,000 CNAs employed in Wisconsin and over 9,000 of them work in Milwaukee and its suburbs.
In Milwaukee, you will make an average of $21,513 to $34,021 annually as a CNA depending on the facility in which you work and how much experience you have. On the job, you will directly assist patients in such areas as grooming, bathing, eating and ambulating. You will also help nurses by taking patient vital signs and measurements, communicating patient needs and doing some basic charting.
The average CNA salary in Milwaukee is $28,940 (BLS)
Getting to your CNA classes or to your job need not be difficult if you know the best ways to get around Milwaukee. You may first want to consider using your own car. Improvements in traffic flow over the last decade have significantly improved the driving experience through the city although you may still want to avoid I-94 and I-43 at peak times. You will find plenty of metered spaces and parking lots downtown.
If public transportation works better for you, use the Milwaukee County Transit system for buses that get you throughout the city and into the surrounding areas. The Milwaukee Hop also offers trolley service to some of the most-visited neighborhoods. You could also use Uber or Lyft, which are both active in the city.
Because Milwaukee’s downtown is quite compact, this area is easily walkable. In fact, the city ranks as the 13th most walkable city in the U.S. You can also use environmentally friendly bikes by checking out Bublr Bikes, the city’s bike-share program. All city buses also offer bike racks to make your commute even easier.
Waukesha County Technical College offers an excellent nursing assistant program at its Pewaukee and Waukesha campuses. This college has been serving the area for almost 100 years and currently offers over 150 training and degree programs through its School of Business, School of Health, School of Protective and Human Services and School of Applied Technologies. Currently, over 20,000 individuals are enrolled at WCTC, and the school boasts post-graduate employment statistics of 90 percent within six months of graduation.
Your CNA course here combines classroom learning and on-campus nursing lab experience with clinical experiences at nearby health care facilities. The course is available all year long, and registration is available approximately two months before the start date. The cost depends on numerous variables but is generally $136.50 per credit with three credits needed for the nursing assistant technical diploma.
Your classes here will cover numerous CNA topics, including basic nursing tasks, communication, client rights, ethical concerns, teamwork, long-term care concerns, disease processes, and dementia. Upon completion of your courses, you will immediately be eligible to take the Wisconsin Nurse Aide Competency Examination through Headmaster.
|Amber House, Inc||7414 West Hampton Avenue||Milwaukee||WI||53218|
|Aurora NA Education Center||3033 South 27th St. Suite 105||Milwaukee||WI||53215|
|J. Johnson Educational Center||7905 W. Appleton Ave, 202||Milwaukee||WI||53218|
|Milwaukee Area Technical College||700 West State Street||Milwaukee||WI||53233|
|Paramount 360||2020 South 54th Street||Milwaukee||WI||53219|
If cost is a concern for you as you consider CNA training, you should know that there are several ways to find reduced-cost or even free training in Milwaukee. Many long-term care facilities and health care organizations offer incentives if you agree to work with them while you are in training and to fulfill a certain number of hours of work for them once you are on the CNA registry.
For example, some WisCaregiver nursing homes offer free training and testing along with $500 to new applicants. Aurora Health Care offers paid training at its Milwaukee facility and also pays an hourly wage during classes. Applicants are hired immediately and promoted to CNA positions upon successful completion of the 15-day, 120-hour program.
You can also check into Job Corps, which offers free CNA programs at many of its locations or look into tuition reimbursement for working at Medicaid- or Medicare-approved facilities.